We'll get to your daily linkfest of all things related to Saturday's opening game. But first off, props to this fine artist from Cal for this amazing display of craftsmanship:
And now to the links!
*For you gambling degenerates out there: this site gives Northwestern 150/1 odds to win the national championship. The Cal Golden Bears? They're 200/1. Alabama's still the favorite at 5/2, followed by Ohio State at 6/1 and Oregon at 9/1.
As for the Heisman, Kain Colter's got a 66/1 shot. That's down from a week ago, when he had 50/1 odds.
*Fitz on winning and consistency: Coach Fitz gets some love from the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh and has a message for you old-timers-- Get with it!!!
"Our internal expectations far outweigh external expectations, and they've been that way for a long time,'' said Fitzgerald, 38. "Am I happy to see external expectations changing? Yeah. But at the same time, everybody under the age of 40 knows Northwestern is a winner. We've got to control the 41-year-olds and above.''
*NU QBs on LTP: Lake the Posts held its Season Kickoff Party yesterday, featuring Dan Persa, Zak Kustok and Steve Schnur, and it sounds like a good time was had by all. Some great anecdotes, so head over to LTP to read his recap of the event, including Kustok's recounting of that famous 54-51 Michigan game.
*Pappy being Pappy: Last season, Pat Fitzgerald became NU's all-time winningest coach with his 50th victory in the Gator Bowl win. The guy he passed? Pappy Waldorf, who also has a significant history with Cal. Waldorf left NU in 1947 after 12 seasons, arriving at Berkeley, where he promptly led Cal to the 1949 Rose Bowl...against our very own 'Cats. And according to this article, he mellowed out his seething mad team when a crucial call went against them:
Northwestern and Cal have met in football just once before -- at the 1949 Rose Bowl, when Waldorf and Cal lost 20-14 to his former Wildcats team. The game is remembered for several controversial plays, including a Northwestern touchdown that might have been a lost fumble by running back Art Murakowski before he crossed the goal line.
"We felt screwed," said Brunk, admitting he is still a little bitter. "A bunch of guys ran back to the bench and were angry about the call. Pappy just said: 'That was the call that was made, and we've got to play on.' That was Pappy."
*Some recruiting hype: SB Nation put out its August Big Ten All-Recruit Team, and NU has one representative, Justin Jackson, a 4-star running back. As you might expect, Ohio State and Michigan dominate the team.
*Q&A mailbag on the Cal Golden Bears: The San Francisco Chronicle's Cal beat writer dips into the mail bag to answer readers' questions about the upcoming game. Key takeaways: NU won't be used to seeing such a fast-paced offense, Cal's first-string offense stunk in the first scrimmage but has improved since, and Cal has a 50/50 chance of making a bowl game.
*Cal gets on The Newsroom: For you Aaron Sorkin fans, you might have noticed that Sunday's episode of The Newsroom randomly had main character Will McAvoy watching a Cal Bears game.
Apparently it didn't go over too well with some Cal fans.
*And in some alumni news: We'll be regularly updating you on NU's NFL alums here on SoP, but for today, SB Nation's Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain, says Brian Arnfeldt, who went undrafted, ought to make the team. It's a great analysis. With GIFs!! Here's one:
*And finally, some non-football related news: NU's field hockey team opens the season ranked No. 11, NU's women's basketball team announced its 2013-14 schedule (hey, they also play at Cal!), and NU's fearless basketball leader, Chris Collins, gets an ESPN.com profile. Interesting tidbit in the story from Drew Crawford: